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Countdown to Blue-White / Day 16: A Dozen Gimmicks for Penn State’s Scrimmage

by on April 04, 2013 2:00 AM

This is the 18th in a 33-day series about Penn State football program leading up to the Blue-White Game on April 20. Click here for past installments in the series.

In last year’s Blue-White Game, head coach Bill O’Brien instituted a special scoring system as the defense beat the offense, 77-65.

No news yet about how the scoring will be tallied in the 2013 intra-squad scrimmage to be held on April 20 in Beaver Stadium.

But I do have a few ideas about how to spice things up a bit if O’Brien wants to tinker with more than he did in 2012, with a sack earning four points and a three-and-out counting as one point. (Or is that a one-and-out worth three points?)

No matter. Here are 12 innovations Penn State might want to try:

1. Lynch MRob. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown in Cal’s spring game a few weeks ago. Why not let his Seattle backfield mate, former Nittany Lion Michael Robinson, try to do the same thing?

2. Mic Bill O’Brien and broadcast him over the stadium speakers. Caution, though. They might need a seven-second delay in case he gets enthusiastic about his "fighters."

3. Helmet Cams. Projected on the big screen. Cool.

4. Text Vote the Play Calls. For a series or two, post four possible plays every down on the Beaver Stadium scoreboard. Have fans text which play they want. Majority rules. Remember: Standard text messaging rates may apply.

5. Text the Play Calls. For a series, text to any fan who signs up in advance the actual play call before it is run (or passed).

6. Matt At the McMic. Make Matt McGloin the third man in the radio booth, with Jack Ham and Steve Jones. No one knows the PSU offense like McGloin. Plus, he has a broadcast degree from Penn State. Plus, he’ll call ’em as he sees ’em.

7. Make It Take It. A variation of half-court hoops in Rec Hall. If the Nittany Lion offense scores, it stays on the field and keeps the ball until it turns it over, punts or loses it on downs. Key rule: No substitutions on defense until they stop the offense after the first score.

8. Chuck Bednarik Rules. Named after the NFL’s last great two-way player, this is something that fans no doubt will at least get a taste of, anyway, due in part to the reduction in scholarship players.

9. Father-Son Combo. As Nittany Lions, Curt Warner and Richie Anderson scored 61 touchdowns and ran for 5,154 yards before going on to Pro Bowl careers in the NFL. Now, their sons Jonathan, a redshirt sophomore, and Richy, an early enrollee freshman, are on the squad at their dads’ alma mater. It’d be nice to see the old guys (Curt is 52, Richie 41) in the same backfield and their sons, both receivers, flanked left and right.

10. OB Plays QB. The Penn State head coach took a snap in practice last week, so let’s see what the former DE/LB can do in his own offense. One rule: No red jersey for the Brown guy.

11. Position This. For the last series of the day, all of Penn State’s assistant coaches suit up and play the position they coach. Strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald? Blitzing linebacker – every play.

12. The Write Stuff. Finally, take a random sports columnist – say from, for instance – and have him call plays for a series.

Recent Stories:

Day 22: Five Under the Radar Players to Step Up in 2013

Day 21: Is Glenn Carson Ready to Lead? 

Day 20: Team Focused on Football, not Transfers 

Day 19: Is the Change in Defensive Coordinators Reason for Concern?

Day 18: O'Brien Raises Expectations and Intensity in Year Two

Day 17: How Does Zayd Issah's Situation Impact the 2013 Roster?

Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979, and for since the 2009 season. His column appears on Mondays and Fridays. Follow him on Twitter at His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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